After Midnight – Second Hand Mojo (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

There’s a difference between rock and rock ‘n’ roll. All to often rock sounds as if it is created by pushing large boulders ups endless hills; hard work, full of grunting and sweating, loaded with misplaced intensity, seemingly more about the repetitive act than the end result which is then generally too rigid and all about the rock (rock-boulder…gedit?) than the roll. Rock’n’roll is about the swing, the groove, it has sass and is seductive and seemingly effortless. Second Hand Mojo is a rock and roll band. End of!

Opening salvo, Call Me is all about the riff and the crack of the snare, the title track bubbles and grooves and Hold On is as jaunty a blues rock strut as you can get. But the real trick that makes After Midnight work is the fact that it allows itself space to percolate, room to breathe, gives elbow room to the instrumentation. And once you know how to introduce space you are on to a winner. There is enough separation here that everything can be heard doing its job, a job made much easier when the various players don’t have to fight for their own turn in the spot light.

Why march to the crack of the rock drum when you can boogie to the beat of the rock ’n’ roll groove? Why indeed?

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